Repetitive Strain Injury/leg pain

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Question
I know you can't diagnose online but maybe you can give some ideas. Two months ago I ran full speed without stretching and felt a little pain where the leg bone ends at the top. The the pain still hurts and has probably gotten worse. It only hurts if the hamstring muscle is used (the same one used in running). It only hurts if I run or I use the exact / particular hamstring muscle. If I sit and pull my leg back and force the hamstring muscle to be used it hurts at the top / back of the leg bone area. However, it does not hurt if the leg is twisted or bent in any direction without using muscle power. Any ideas? I'm in my 30's and have never had a pain that did not heal within couple weeks.

Answer
Hi Jack,

Stretching is always important, although I've shown athletes that stretching without first releasing the spasms in the muscles can cause muscle injury. When a muscle has a spasm it shortens the fibers and hurts at the origination and insertion points on either end (although more frequently at the insertion point). It's like pulling your hair and your scalp hurts.  You don't need to massage your scalp, take aspirin for the headache, or have brain surgery to stop the pain, you just need to let go of your hair.  It's the same thing with muscles. Too often people pay total attention to the symptom of the muscle tension, and not to the cause of the tension.  

I just wrote a paper about the area you are mentioning. I think it will help if you take a look at it: http://www.triggerpointyoga.com/body-basics/causes-of-hip-pain/ and then we can discuss this further.

Many times the hamstring tension and pain are actually a result of other muscles putting a strain on the pelvis, which then causes the hamstrings to become overstretched.

My suggestion is to not do anything with your hamstrings yet, especially don't try to stretch them. After you read the page please feel free to post again and we can go further into the situation.

Wishing you well,
   Julie Donnelly

Repetitive Strain Injury

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Julie Donnelly, LMT

Expertise

I can accept questions that relate to chronic or acute pain caused by muscle spasms and contractions. Repetitive Strain Injury is actually Cumulative Trauma to muscles. Releasing the spasm &/or contraction will relieve the strain that is felt at the insertion point on the bone. I am the co-developer of the unique safe-stretching program "Focused Flexibility Training," which combines easy instruction for self-treating spasms throughout your body with proven yoga stretches. I have recently authored two new books: "The 15 Minute Back Pain Solution," and "The Secret to Your Best Golf Game EVER!

Experience

Since 1989 I have been working with endurance athletes and individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions. I have authored seven self-treatment books and three self-treatment DVDs and I have developed the Julstro System for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome, Trigger Finger, and other Hand/Wrist pain. I am a national and international presenter at conventions, seminars, and workshops. Principle topics are "Work Shouldn't Hurt," and "The Pain Free Athlete." In 2005 and 2006 I was the massage therapist for ultracyclists competing in the Race Across America (RAAM) 3000+ mile race from San Diego, CA to Atlantic City, NJ. I've taught the Julstro techniques to physical therapists at the Cleveland Clinic, to massage therapists in areas around the USA, and I've taught Julstro self-treatment clinics to dancers at Juilliard School of Performing Arts (NYC),the sprinting team at NC State, and I am working closely with several Olympic-hopeful. We have successfully eliminated the repetitive strain injuries that could keep them out of the Olympic Games, and the best part is they know how to do the self-treatments so they can stay pain-free and flexible.

Publications
Triathlete Magazine, Endurance Magazine, multiple national and international trade journals.

Education/Credentials
Swedish Institute of Allied Health, NY, NY - Initial education in massage therapy Licensed NYS Massage Therapist since 1989. SUNY Empire State College, Saratoga Springs, NY - B.Sc. degree in Interdisciplinary Health Education I was an Associate Professor helping to develop the massage training program for SUNY Rockland Community College

Past/Present Clients
Privacy prevents me from filling in this section without prior consent from my clients. Life Experience: I have been specializing in the treatment of chronic pain and sports injuries since receiving my NY massage license in 1989. A personal bout with carpal tunnel syndrome was the catalyst to my developing a self-treatment that heals the symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome quickly and without surgery. My work with endurance athletes was the inspiration to teach people how to self-treat so they could stop pains even during a race or heavy training day. Both of these situations ultimately became the products that are sold on my websites: http://www.FlexibleAthlete.com and http://www.julstro.com. I currently treat people in my offices in Sarasota, FL, Cary, NC, or Pearl River, NY

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